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Running Out of Water: Cape Town, the U.S., and Drought

Experts are now predicting that Cape Town will run out of water in May. How did it get into this situation?

A variety of actors have conspired to put Cape Town in this grim position.  To start, Cape Town is in the third year of one of the most severe droughts in the region’s history.  Everyone agrees that this is the worst drought in a century.  One scientist at the University of Cape Town has even estimated that a drought this bad occurs in the area only once every 300 years.  Unfortunately, climate change may be increasing the chances of a drought of this magnitude in the region.

Many cities, however, would have better survived a drought of this magnitude.  At least two other...